Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions

Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions

Hardback Jossey Bass: Adult & Continuing Education

By (author) Stephen D. Brookfield

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 229mm x 30mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 20 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470889349
  • ISBN 13: 9780470889343
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 157,510

Product description

According to AAC&U's 2013 employer survey, 93# of employers agree that a candidate's "demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems" is more important than their undergraduate major. Likewise, more than three in four employers say they want colleges to place more emphasis on helping students develop critical thinking skills. In Teaching for Critical Thinking , Stephen Brookfield builds on his last three decades of experience running workshops and teaching courses on critical thinking to explore how student learn to think this way, and what teachers can do to help students develop this capacity. He outlines a basic protocol of critical thinking as a learning process that focuses on uncovering and checking assumptions, exploring alternative perspectives, and taking informed actions as a result. Written to address the broad range of disciplines, this book fosters a shared understanding of critical thinking and helps to various constituencies adapt general principles to specific disciplinary contexts.

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Author information

Stephen D. Brookfield is Distinguished University Professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For forty years he has taught in the United States and abroad. A four-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education, he is the author of numerous books on teaching, including The Skillful Teacher and Developing Critical Thinkers.

Back cover copy

praise for previous books by stephen d. brookfield"Award-winning author Stephen Brookfield offers insight, inspiration, and down-to-earth advice to all teachers in settings as diverse as college, adult education, and secondary schools--on how to thrive on the unpredictability of classroom life."--Better Teaching"The author [relates] some of his own personal experiences as an educator in encouraging critical thinking. His insight and honesty in relating these experiences is valuable and interesting."--CBE Report"Brookfield's book will serve as an effective focus that can facilitate faculty in thinking critically about their work, their community, their relationships, not only individually but collaboratively."--Teaching Sociology"He offers clear, jargon-free, and unpretentious guidance." --Reference & Research Book News"The author is so darned good at finding and highlighting the key research." --Training"Brookfield illustrates practically his major scholarly interest in this readable, innovative, and perceptive book on college teaching."--Choice

Flap copy

While notions of what constitutes critical thinking vary, educators, politicians, and employers all agree that criticalthinking skills are necessary for well-educated citizens and a keycapacity for successful employees. In Teaching for CriticalThinking, Stephen Brookfield explores how students learn to thinkcritically and what methods teachers can use to help.In his engaging, conversational style, Brookfield establishes abasic protocol of critical thinking that focuses on studentsuncovering and checking assumptions, exploring alternativeperspectives, and taking informed actions. The book fosters ashared understanding of critical thinking and helps all facultyadapt general principles to specific disciplinary contexts.Drawing on thousands of student testimonies, the book identifiesthe teaching methods and approaches that are most successful whenteaching students to think, read, and write critically. Brookfieldexplains when to make critical thinking the classroom focus, how toencourage critical discussions, and ways to reach skepticalstudents. He outlines the basic components required when reviewinga text critically and shows how to give highly specificfeedback.The book also addresses how to foster critical thinking acrossan institution, beginning with how it can be explained in syllabiand even integrated into strategic plans and institu-tionalmissions. Brookfield stresses the importance of teachers modelingcritical thinking and demonstrates himself how to do this.Crammed with activities and techniques, this how-to guide isapplicable in face-to-face, online, and hybrid classrooms of allsizes. Each exercise includes detailed instructions, examples fromdifferent academic disciplines, and guidance for when and how tobest use each activity. Any reader will come away with a pedagogictool kit of new ideas for classroom exercises, new approaches todesigning course assignments, and new ways to assess students'ability to practice critical analysis.

Table of contents

Preface vii About the Author xvii 1 What Is Critical Thinking? 1 2 Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 27 3 How Critical Thinking Is Learned 53 4 Introducing Basic Protocols of Critical Thinking 77 5 Developing Critical Complexity: Intermediate and Advanced Protocols 105 6 Reading and Writing Critically 129 7 Integrating Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum 155 8 Making Discussions Critical 179 9 Misunderstandings, Challenges, and Risks 205 10 Modeling Critical Thinking 233 References 261 Index 269